It went around and around, never stopping, never slowing, that carousel the color of night.
Its horses were covered in stars and when they tossed their manes, glittered light fell to the ground.
The children riding it wore shadows and smiles, they flung rings of flowers to those who watched.
They curled their fingers and beckoned, laughed and sang, and begged us to join their swirling dance under the moon.
We touched their hands, an eternal choice. Now destined to spin forever under the sky that would always be dark.
The children no longer smiled and sang, they wept or they screamed or they were empty and burned.
The stars on the horses were thistles and burrs. They bared their teeth and they hissed and they cursed.
We fell dizzy to the old wood of the thing, and it cut our knees.
We stood and the poles’ splinters pierced our fingers.
The lucky ones fell off when no one was watching. They ran home, bleeding and scarred.
But the rest of us, we are here still. We smile and dance, toss flowers and sing, we weep and scream and burn.
And when we can’t anymore, we stagger to the mirrored panes at the center, pull them apart, and step inside.
And wind the small music box suspended above the sharp rusted gears.
Then we lie down near it and sleep: silent, dreamless, and thick.
I have one more commission spot available this month. This could be for a logo or tattoo design, or even just a special illustration of your favorite plants and flowers. Be sure to let me know if you want in!
This tattoo design is made up of elements that are very special to the owner. I love it when I can design something infused with so much meaning and love! Thistles, beach roses, and ferns make up this composition. Every one of them some of my favorite plants.
That blue was the color of the sky when I wore cutoff jeans and a homemade shirt, when cut grass stuck to my toes, and when the sidewalk burned my feet.
That blue was the color of bottles that filled the windows of the store downtown, where books were stacked to the ceiling, and where mannequins guarded the attic.
That blue was the color of Grandmama’s eyes, the one who sang about Peter Cottontail, and the one who rocked me slow until I fell asleep.
Freckled flowers are some of the friendliest, don’t you think?
Or maybe I find them so because we’re such kindred spirits…
There is enough.
Don’t be so afraid to lose what you’ve swept into the corners
That you’re loathe to share the expanse of your yard.
People are dying
Because they feel alone and afraid,
Because they are hungry and thirsty and oppressed.
People are dying
Just to be loved.
Is it wise to prioritize your own comfort
When the weight of lost lives is so heavy?
There is enough.
Give what you wish to be given
For you cannot out-give the Giver of all.
It was so small. The tiniest ticking whispered at the window. Like a clock made of feathers.
I looked through the glass but there was nothing. No beetle, no pebble, no rain.
Yet when I turned my back, it was there again. Faint but insistent.
Tick. Tick. Tick.
“I hear you,” I said.
Surely it was some small flying thing. Or leaves falling from the roof and touching the panes.
Someone playing tricks?
And then I realized…
It wasn’t outside at all.
The universe was upside down, stars at our fingertips and the rolling sea above.
She wore a gingham apron when she worked, blue and white squares across sturdy cotton fabric worn soft by decades of washing. In her pocket, she kept pointed silver scissors and her mother’s handkerchief, never used but always with her. In July, her pocket would hold bunches of zinnias in bright colors. In August, their seeds.
We’d sit in the shade, she and I, and listen to the sound our ice cubes made in tall glasses of lemonade while shadow birds soared across the grass. We’d talk about babies and funerals, the weather and books, or what it was that filled our minds during the long, impossibly quiet morning hours. Loves lost and loves yet to come.
Ferns seem to be the wisest of all the plants, flora wizards. Maybe because – at least to me – they seem to have seen the most.
They’ve been around forever and have lived in every part of the country (US) I have, from the midwest to the east coast to the south, and they also have lived in every place I’ve visited. Tropical rain forests, rocky coasts, dense forests, deserts, and the like.
This print is available in my shop today!